1) Belmore Sports ground
One of the first things that comes to mind for all Sydney residents when they hear ‘Canterbury’ is the rugby league side the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. While in recent years the ‘Doggies’ have played most of their home games at ANZ Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park, the club now returns to its traditional home of Belmore Sportsground for selected games every season, which become major Bankstown attractions. Compared to the 80,000 plus capacity stadium at Homebush, which for many games is mostly empty, Belmore is always packed to the rafters with Bulldogs fans and it’s an atmosphere that is unique, showcasing rugby league at its very best. In 2017, the Bulldogs will play two games there including the first round of the season against the Melbourne Storm. Kickoff is 6pm on Friday 3 March. The Bulldogs will return to Belmore again later in the year when they take on the Newcastle Knights on Sunday 9 July at 4:00pm.
2) Canterbury ice skating rink
Ice skating is the perfect way to get out of the heat of western Sydney’s summer or out of the rain in winter. You don’t have to be like Jayne Torvill or Christopher Dean to have a spin around the rink. Boys and girls of all ages can get lessons on how to tame the ice. For the more expert skaters, Canterbury Ice Rink has ice sports such as ice hockey, figure skating and speed skating competitions. As the centre is government owned and not for profit, prices are very reasonable with sessions just $22 for teenagers and adults, $19 for 5-12 year olds and $5 for under five year olds. This makes Canterbury Ice Rink one of the hidden gems in Sydney for family entertainment. If you don’t have your own set of blades, they’ve got you covered too. Skate hire is just $3 per person. For more info on session times, party hire and ice sports visit the Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink website.
3) Canterbury Park Racecourse
While most people think about Rosehill or Randwick when it comes to horse racing in Sydney, Canterbury Park is a Bankstown attraction that also happens to be one of the premier racecourses in New South Wales. Being fully equipped with lighting right around the circuit, Canterbury Park is famous for its night races every second Friday in summer. The racecourse also hosts the Canterbury Foodies Markets with an array of delicious street food, market stalls and kids activities. It’s on every Sunday from 9.00am until 2.00pm, and best of all, entry is free! It’s a great place to relax after the working week with mates or the family. On New Years Eve, Canterbury Park holds the Canterbury Classic, which is the perfect way to celebrate the final day of the calendar year. Also a benefit over some over racecourses, Canterbury Park has free parking, direct public transport and even free Wi-Fi! Visit the Australian Turf Club for more info on Canterbury Park’s race meetings and events in the coming season.
4) Canterbury Golf Course
If you want to get into the great sporting pastime of golf without the lavish prices and membership fees normally associated with golf clubs, Canterbury golf course is another of Sydney’s hidden gems. Located off Moorefields Rd in Beverly Hills, you can have a quick nine or a full 18-hole game. Prices start at just $17.50 per person, making it one of the cheapest of Bankstown attractions. You don’t need a membership, just turn up and play. It’s even cheaper for Seniors. If you’re looking to really improve your game, coaching is available in either one-on-one or group sessions. You can also hire motorised golf carts to help get you from flag to flag. There’s a pro shop on site too where you can buy everything you need to hit the fairways, with items from brands such as Titleist, Callaway, Taylormade, Ping and more. They even can repair clubs. The course is open seven days a week and you can take groups of up to 20 people. For more information visit Canterbury Golf Course online.
5) Bankstown Basketball stadium
Bankstown Basketball Stadium is located in Condell Park, and it’s more than a place to shoot some hoops – it’s a favourite Bankstown attraction for the kids. As well as the seven basketball courts, there’s also four indoor soccer courts, three volleyball courts and six badminton courts. Playing sports is the most fun way to keep active and healthy, so luckily all of these are available for hire. If you’d like to play competitively, you can be one of 3,000 registered members of all ages of the basketball competition. And if you’d like to come and practice your skills first, you can shoot around on a court for just $5 per person during weekdays when school groups don’t have a booking prior. For kids, there are a number of camps and clinics available. The association can even send out expert coaches to your school to run programs as well. For more info on Bankstown Basketball stadium, click here.
6) Bankstown airport
If you’re looking to do something a little wild, another of Sydney’s hidden gems is Bankstown Airport. A number of flying schools operate there, so you can learn to be a fully licensed plane or helicopter pilot if you accrue the hours. Bankstown Helicopters is a great place to learn to fly a chopper or to take a scenic tour and look at this great city from above. A trial introductory flight starts from just $299 and it’s a great gift for that friend or family member who loves a thrill or is an aviation enthusiast. Or you can just take a ride on a joy flight over Sydney Harbour and see the city like you’ve never seen it before. Prices start from just $247.50 per person in a four-person group. For more information on these programs and a list of flying schools located there, visit Bankstown Airport online.
7) Dunc Gray Velodrome
Have you ever watched velodrome cycling during the Olympics and thought that it looks like loads of fun? Did you know you can actually zoom around the very track that was used in the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000? Well now you do! Dunc Gray was Australia’s first cycling Olympic medallist in 1928 in Amsterdam. He went on to win gold in the 1932 Los Angeles games four years later. Dunc’s bike from the 1932 games is on display at the velodrome named in his honour, which is located at Bass Hill. To have a spin around the track, it’s just $20 per person ($10 for kids) plus a $16.50 fee for a one-day licence, though longer duration licences can be obtained from Cycling Australia. If you need to hire a bike, this costs just $15 per person. You can use your own personal track bike if you have one. For more information on this great Bankstown attraction, visit the NSW Cycling website.
8) Roselands Aquatic Centre
Located right next to Roselands Shopping Centre (and Lantern Club!), Roselands Aquatic Centre is the perfect place to cool off. The aquatic centre is a favourite Bankstown attraction because of its heated indoor (25m) and outdoor (50m) pools as well as a toddler’s pool. Out of the water, there’s a large grassed area with BBQ and picnic facilities so you can make a real day of it with the family. If your kids aren’t strong swimmers, there’s learn to swim, squad training and school holiday swim programs available. Roselands Aquatic Centre also holds Aquarobics classes.. For a great way to burn calories before or after work, the centre opens from 6am to 8pm. Showers, change rooms and saunas are also available. To learn more, visit the Roselands Aquatic Centre website.
9) Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre
Another great place for your and your kids to stay active is the Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre in Riverwood. The site has a gym with group fitness classes, indoor sports such as netball and futsal. If you really want to get into shape, you can try the 6-week YMCA bootcamp – it’s guaranteed to transform you into your fittest, healthiest self! For more information click here.
10) Lantern Club
Of course, we couldn’t leave little old us off the list – one of Sydney’s brightest hidden gems. For those who haven’t visited Lantern Club or our MàZi Restaurant before, we pride ourselves on offering some of the best service and food you’ll find anywhere in Sydney, let alone in the humble west. As far as Bankstown attractions go, our club is one of the most inviting and hospitable. Filled with friendly faces, Lantern Club is a great place to meet with friends, unwind after work, or treat the family to a delicious lunch of dinner, any time of the day or week.
© Lantern Club, Roselands